We hope you enjoyed a wonderful Christmas time. Having our first Christmas as a church, we began some Christmas traditions. Our church gathered together almost $500 as a special Christmas offering. We used the money to purchase food for baskets. In all, we made eleven baskets for Christmas dinner for eleven needy families. On Thursday, December 20, our church met for a “pot luck” dinner and put the boxes of food together. The families also delivered the food to the needy families. Five of the families who received the baskets already attend our services. It was a time of great fellowship but also a time for our people to give directly to those around them. The news among the people is that they want to double the offering next December. I think a new tradition is here.
Our Sunday school children put on a Christmas program for Sunday, December 23. We made a special effort to invite their parents, and we had 107 total in attendance. Our overall attendance has continued to grow steadily, and we are making decisions about future facilities as we are very nearly growing out of our rented space.
A group from the Pleasantville Baptist Church in Pleasantville, Iowa, came for a weeklong visit. During this time we put a coat of paint on the auditorium; did some door-to-door soulwinning; and held a special church activity on Friday, January 11. Our activity on Friday was the highlight of the trip. The men had a cookout and sports activities at the church building while the ladies enjoyed a special meal at our house. We had 40 for the ladies’ dinner with both saved and unsaved present. Debbie gave the plan of salvation and a challenge to our ladies. This was the first of this type of activity that we have tried, and I am sure that it won’t be the last. A pleasant meal is a great tool to reach the lost and to disciple believers.
Pastor A. J. Potter preached for us during the visit. We really enjoyed the fellowship and the sermons. Our people have really enjoyed the times we have had guest preachers. They enjoy a break from the normal routine.
Our present concentrated focus for our church is discipling believers, training workers, and following up on contacts. Of course, we spend time each week knocking on doors, but we are busy working with the many God has already brought our way.
One of these families includes the Sosa family. They drive to church from Orange Walk, a town one hour north of Belize City. The Sosas were already saved and have grown to adopt the necessary standards to become workers in our church. Mrs. Sosa, a biology teacher, is now helping in our junior church class. Now we have one lady to help Debbie with the Sunday school and one for the junior church hour. It is really exciting to watch people grow in the Lord.
Recently, a worker from the neighboring concrete company has attended a few services. One day Trevor overheard that I needed to make a trip across the border to Mexico (two hours away). He asked if he could ride with me, and we started our trip with listening to a salvation sermon from my pastor. At the close of the sermon, Trevor asked if we could pull over so he could receive Christ as His Savior! We pulled over, and he prayed there on the side of the road for salvation. He has been faithful to the services since that time and is a candidate for baptism very soon. God is reaching these people and adding to our church.
Before I close this letter, I want to list a few items for which to pray. We are planning our first anniversary Sunday to be held on March 3. My pastor, Dr. Roger Voegtlin, will be preaching for us. Our goal is to have 150 in attendance to hear the gospel that day. Please pray as we look forward to that day that God would prepare the hearts of the people to receive the gospel. We have printed invitations for that day, and we are challenging the church people to pass them out and invite their friends and family members. A few weeks before the day, a group is coming from Bible Baptist Church in Grand Forks, North Dakota. The main goal will be to distribute many of the 5,000 invitations. I have seen “big days” like this become the means to reach the lost, but success depends on the work of God on the hearts of people. We are asking you to begin to pray for this important day. I will certainly keep you posted on the results of these special efforts, and we will give all glory to God for the good that is done through any outreach of this ministry! Thank you for praying and helping us reach the people of Belize!
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